Archive | January, 2013

Where to go from here?

29 Jan

This is the question we found ourselves asking recently.

To fully understand I need you to bear in mind that many companies will have a reasonable sized team with a reasonable time frame to complete the planning and implementation of a SharePoint environment. We, on the other hand, have one and a half people (myself full time, my boss part time) dedicated to this project and we’re sort of learning as we go along.

As well as this, along the way we’ve had various people within the organisation (the kind that you have to listen to) speaking sentences such as “ah forget governance! Just get some sites working!” and “Whats taxonomy? Like stuffed animals? Ah forget it and get some sites working!” and “implementation plan? ah-” well you get the idea.

This has all led us to a point where we have a couple of areas working fairly well in the business; a few areas under construction; a high demand; and no governance policies in place.

You think that looks a little backwards?

You’d be right.

It has finally caught up on us, we have about 30 decisions that need to be made by a number of different parties, written up and distributed. We need to gather committees, do some sales and networking as well as continuing with the sites we’ve already promised. Oh, and we only have about a week to do it.

I’m aware that this article hasn’t been hugely helpful for anyone who actually works with SharePoint, but if you’re just starting out remember this:

You always build the house before you decorate the rooms.

…Unless its one of those buildings that you build the rooms and slot them into a frame…Lets pretend I didn’t say that… Thanks.

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Happy New Year

2 Jan

We made it. We’ve survived. We’ve got through another end of the world; another Christmas with the family members about whom you spend the year thinking “We should really see more of them”, then change your mind quickly over the festive period; and another new year filled with hazy promises. Now that I’m back at work, staring at my computer blankly, I find myself asking “Was it worth it?”.

Yes. Yes it was.

I’m finding it difficult to find a place to start again though. So I shall recap what I accomplished in the last week of work in 2012.

I had someone come to me at 4.30pm on the 20th December saying “I need a SharePoint area for the CEO and board members. A place where they can keep their board packs and stuff” (Paraphrased). The requirements were fairly simple, to have 4 areas, each with different permissions. In each of these 4 areas there needed to be a display for each month (Eg. June’s Board pack, June’s Acquisition docs etc) and within this there needed to be a separate display for printable and non-printable documents.

It sounded simple enough, until I was told it had to be blindingly obvious to some guys who don’t really know too much or care too much about IT – a state of mind which is completely understandable, but as someone who knows a bit and cares a bit about IT i find it difficult to put myself in the mind of the illiterate (for want of a better word).

Anyway, here’s how I accomplished it. 

I created 4 sites: Board Packs; Acquisitions; Remuneration; and Audit.

Each site has one document library.

In each document library I added 2 custom columns. “Printable (Yes/No)” and “Year – Month).

With these building blocks in place all I really had to work on was the presentation. I decided the simplest way would be to utilise Views.

I set up 2 views for each month, one for printable documents and one for non-printable, by simply putting on a filter in the view settings.

I wanted to have both printable and non-printable documents displayed on the same page but under different webparts. For this I did not want to create pages for each. There was reasoning behind this at the time, but I’m still trying to pick apart reality from hazy dreams over the Christmas period so I’ll update you on what my reasoning may have been at a later date.

Instead I created links in the quick launch to each month’s view. so in the quick launch you can see a list of months. When you click “January” the January view opens. Simple. I now want to display both printable and non-printable on the same page. I went to site actions, edit page. I found this confusing for a while. So I’m inside a document library, but Im editing a page. So does this count as a page now? Or is it still the library? Am I caring too much about this? What DO you call that bit between your eyebrows?

Sorry.

So yeah, I clicked edit page, and simply added a list web part of the current document library to the page. Now I have 2 web parts on the page so I added the “January – Printable” view to one, and the other was already assigned the January view.

Save and repeat.

I realise this is a bit confusing, and almost paradoxical in places. Tell you what, after a few more coffees have added clarity to this murky wednesday morning I will re-read it and improve it.

I hope you’re all recovering better than I am.

 

Happy New Year to all.